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In Venerem solvunt, aut fætus nixibus edunt.
Verùm ipsæ è foliis natos et suavibus herbis

Ore legunt : ipsæ regem, parvosque Quirites
Sufficiunt: aulasque et cerea regna refingunt.
Sæpe etiam duris errando in cotibus alas
Attrivêre, ultròque animam sub fasce dedêre :
Tantus amor forum, et generandi gloria mellis. 205 205. Est illis tantus
Ergò ipsas quamvis angusti terminus ævi

amor Alcrum, et tartu Excipiat (neque enim plùs septima ducitur æstas) 207. Enim neque plus At genus immortale manet, multosque per annos quàm septima æstas Ju. Stat fortuna domûs, et avi numerantur avorum.

citur ab illis
Prætereà regem non sic Ægyptus, et ingens 210
Lydia, nec populi Parthorum, aut Medus Hydaspes,
Observant. Rege incolumi, mens omnibus una est;
Amisso, rupere

fidem :
: constructaque mella

213. Rege amisso Diripuere ipsæ, et crates solvêre favorum. Ille operum custos ; illum admirantur ; et omnes 215

215. Ille est custos Circumstant fremitu denso, stipantque frequentes;

217. Sua corpora bello Et sæpe attollunt humeris, et corpora bello

219. Quidam homines Objectant. pulchramque petunt per vulnera mortem. inducti his signis, atque

His quidam signis, atque hæc exempla secuti, secuti hæc exempla pruEsse apibus partem divina mentis, et haustus 220 dentiæ apum dixere Æthereos dixere : Deum namque ire per omnes

221. Namque dixere

Deum Terrasque, tractusque maris, cælumque profundum. 223. Hinc dixere peHinc pecudes, armenta, viros, genus omne ferarum, cudes

pro illo


drones alone have the male organ of gene- of its kings. Populi Parthorum: simply, the ration, and that the monarch is of the fe- Parthians. They are said to have been so male sex. She is wholly employed in the submissive to their king, as to kiss his feet, increase of her family, laying several thou- and to touch the ground with their lips, sand eggs every summer, in each of which when they approached him. Hydaspes : the is hatched a small white worm, which in due name of a river put, by meton. for the intime, changes itself into a drone or bee.-- habitants of the country, through which it Concubitu : for Concubitui. See Ecl. v. 29. flowed.

199. Nec solvunt : nor do they debilitate There have been various opinions and their bodies in lust. Segnes: in the sense of conjectures with a view to reconcile the poet inertes vel inutiles. Edunt : in the sense with matters of fact. Hydaspes is a river of parluriunt. Nicibus : by labor, or tra- of India, and falling into the Indus, forms vail.

one of its branches. How it could be call200. Foliis : froin the leaves of flowers. ed Median, with any propriety, does not

201. Parvos Quirites: they raise up a king, appear. There might have been a small: and little subjects. The bees are here called river by that name, rising in Media, to Quirites, by meton. taken from the Romans, which the poet alludes. Mr. Davidson who were sometimes called Quirites from thinks the river Choaspes, which rises in Romulus, who was also called Quirinus. Media, and passes through the province of See Æn. 1. 274.

Susiana, near Susa, one of the capitals of 204. Dedêre: in the sense of amiserunt. the Persian empire, is intendea. However

207. Septima Æstas. Aristotle informs this be, poets do not always confine themus that bees live six, and sometimes seven selves to historical or geographical preciyears; but if the swarm subsists nine or ten sion. years, it is considered fortunate.

212. Observant: in the sense of veneran208. Al, in the sense of tamen.

tur. 210. Ægyptus. The name of the coun- 213. Fidem : in the sense of societatem. try put, by meton. for the inhabitants. The 214. Crates : the structure or fabric. Ægyptians were very great admirers of their 215. Cuslos: in the sense of præses. monarchs, many of whom they deified. 216. Denso fremitu: with loud buzzing

211. Lydia : a country of Asia Minor, or humming. proverbial for its wealth, and the grandeur 220. Haustus : in the sense of spiritus.


Quemque sibi tenues nascentem arcessere vitas. 225 Deinde direre Scilicet huc reddi deinde, ac resoluta referri omnia resoluta scilicet Omnia : nec morti esse locum sed viva voiare reddi, ac referri huc

Sideris in numerum, atque alto succedere cælo 226. Sed omnia viva volare, quæque in nu

Si quando sedem augustam, servataque mella

Thesauris relines ; priùs haustu sparsus aquarum, 231. Sunt duo tempo

Ora fove, fumosque manu prætende sequaces. ra messis: unum sinnul Bis gravidos cogunt fætus, duo tempora messis. Pleias Taygete



Taygete simul os terris ostendit honestum 234. Aut ubi eadem Pleias, et Oceani spretos pede reppulit amnes : Pleïas

Aut eadem sidus fugiens ubi piscis aquosi,


224. Quemque nascentem: that every one, the materials of which it is composed, or the at his birth, derives tender life to himself, manner of the workmanship. Virgil emfrom hiin. Hinc : from hence—from God. phatically calls their hives, Dædala tecla.

225. Scilicet : in the sense of cerlè. Huc: Verse 179. supra. Heyne reads auguslam. hither-io God. Resoluta : in the sense of 229. Thesauris: in the sense of favis.dissoluta.

Priùs haustu, &c. Commentators do not 226. Nec locum, &c. Virgil here gives agree upon this passage; and it must be the opinions of those philosophers, who re confessed a difficult one. Davidson follows jected the doctrine of a vacuum, and atoms. Servius, who takes sparsus for spargens: maThey maintained that the universe was ani- king the meaning to be: First hold in your mated: that God was omnipresent: that all mouth draughts of water, spouting it upon animals received existence from him: that them. Dr. Trapp rejects sparsus for sparafter death they are all returned, and car gens, and thinks sparsus should be retained; ried back to him : that there is no room for thus : Fove ore haustus aquarum, take water extinction (morti) or loss of existence: that in your mouth; then by an ellipsis of the all, volare viva, fly alive into the order of his words; projice in modum pluviæ, spout it star, and take their station in high heaven. upon them in the manner of rain, which In other words, all transmigrate into other you cannot do without being wet yourself, beings in a perpetual round. This notion sparsus. Heinsius, Ruæus, Heyne, and some was held by many distinguished philoso- others read : Priùs haustu aquarum ora fove. phers of the heathen world. But it was far This, however, is not without objections. from the truth. All irrational animals perish If we could read haustum or haustus for hausat their death. Man alone is imniortal. tu, the passage would be easier ; then ore When unassisted reason is employed upon would be preferable to ora.

But whatever the subject of a future state of existence, it difficulties may attend the construction, the discovers its own weakness. The research- meaning is obvious. Heyne takes Fove ora es of philosophy serve only to bewilder the haustu aquarum, in the sense cf, tene vel conmind. All correct information upon that tine aquam haustam ore. subject must come through the medium of Davidson reads haustus, and ore. divine revelation. Pythagoras and his fol 230. Fumos: it is customary, at the prelowers strenuously maintained this doctrine. sent day, to drive or force the bees from the The Epicurians maintained the doctrine of hive with smoke. a varuum, and the atomic theory.

231. Gravidos fætus : in the sense of ple228. Si quando, &c. The poet now pro nos favos. The comb is properly the fælus ceeds to mention the proper seasons for open or production of the bees. Messis : gathering the hives. He gives directions how to ing or taking the honey : here called the proceed in the business, and notices the pas- harvest. sionate temper of the bees upon such occa 232. Taygele: one of the Pleïades, here sions.

put for the whole, by synec. This, and the Augustam. This is the reading of the best three following lines, is a beautiful circumeditions, and is supported by ancient manu- locution to express the rising and setting of scripts. Ruæus, Davidson, Valpy, and some these stars; the former is in the latter part others, have angustam. But if the poet in- of April, the latter about the end of October, tended to inform us that the hive was small, or the beginning of November. See Geor. he might have saved himself the pains. 1. 138. Besides, augustam is, by no means, an im 233. Amnes : in the sense of aquas. proper epithet. It is exactly in the spirit of 234. Sidus aquosi piscis. the constellation

*ry. It is well known that the bee-hive of the rainy fish. The Pisces here cannot be most exquisite piece of architecure, meant : for the sun does not enter that sign ier we regard the form of the comb, till some time in February. Probably the

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Tristior hybernas cælo descendit in undas.
Illis ira modum supra est, læsæque venenum
Morsibus inspirant, et spicula cæca relinquunt
Affixæ venis, animasque in vulnere ponunt.

Sin duram metues hyemem, parcesque futuro,
Contusosque animos et res miserabere fractas;
At suffire thymo, cerasque recidere inanes
Quis dubitet? nam sæpe favos ignotus adedit
Stellio, lucifugis congesta cubilia blattis :
Immunisque sedens aliena ad pabula fucus,
Aut asper crabro imparibus se immiscuit armis :
Aut dirum tineæ genus, aut invisa Minervæ
In foribus laxos suspendit aranea casses.
Quò magis exhaustæ fuerint; hôc acriùs omnes
Incumbent generis lapsi sarcire ruinas,
Complebuntque foros, et floribus horrea texent.

243. Cutilia sunt con.

gesta 245

245. Se cum apibus


Si verò (quoniam casus apibus quoque nostros Vita tulit) tristi languebunt corpora morbo; Quod jam non dubiis poteris cognoscere signis : Continuò est ægris alius color : horrida vultum


Dolphin may be intended, as that constella- they have performed their office, they soon tion rises soon after the setting of the Pleż– die. Their way of living is very different ades.

from the rest : they are exempt from labor, 236. Læsæ : in the sense of offensa.. and enjoy a most luxurious fare, being fed

237. Cæca : in the sense of occulta : mor with the best of the honey: Immunis sedens sibus : stings. Inspirant: they infuse. ad aliena pabula, may very properly be said

238. 4ffice: having affixed themselves. of them.

240. Parces futuro : you should spare 245. Crabro : the hornet, a well known their future nourishment, and pity their insect. It is larger and stronger than the drooping spirits, and afflicted state.

bee. Hence it is said to engage them with, Commentators have embarrassed the sense imparibus armis. of this passage. The meaning is plainly

246. Tineæ : the moth; an insect very this: If you are afraid of a hard winter, and that the bees will not be able to sustain injurious to clothes. The common reading the cold, unless they be well fed, you should is durum : Heyne, Valpy, and soine others,

read dirum. spare their honey, their future nourishment, and take none of it from them.

247. Aranea invisn. Arachne, daughter 241. At quis dubitet, &c. However you of Idinon, a Lydian, is said to have vied may be disposed to follow my direction in with Minerva in the arts of spinning and leaving the honey untouched, there is one weaving. She performed her work io adthing that should not be neglected in any miration ; but being outdone, she hung hercase; and that is, to fumigate the hives, and self through grief ; whereupon the goddess, to cut away the superfluous wax.

out of pity, changed her into the spider. 243. Stellio. This is a small spotted li- Some say she represented on her work sezard, called also an eft or swift. It creeps veral of the crimes of the gods, which so into holes and corners ; hence the poet calls displeased the goddess, that she, in a rage, it ignotus. Congesla: in the sense of plena. destroyed it. Hence invisa Minerva. See Blattis. The blatta is an insect something Ovid Met. Lib. 5. like a beetle. Some take it to be the cock 248. Quò magis. The poet here obseryes, roach. They are called lucifugis, because the inore you drain the honey from the they do not appear in the day time. bees, the more industrious they will be to

244. Fucus immunis. The Drones are repair the loss. By being too full fed, they the male bees. They have neither stings, become idle, and consequently less profitnor those elastic teeth which the laboring able. He then proceeds to consider the bees have for the purpose of collecting ho- diseases incident to them, and the remedies ney. Their only business seems to be, to proper for each. have intercourse with the queen: they may 250. Horrea : in the sense of favos. Texbe said to be her husbands: they are seve ent: they will form, or make. ral hundred in number in each hive. After 252. Vita : the state, or condition of life.



255. Corpora earum Deformat macies ; tum corpora luce carentům carentûm luce

Exportant tectis, et tristia funera ducunt:
Aut illæ pedibus connexæ ad limina pendent,
Aut intus clausis cunctantur in ædibus omnes :
Ignavæque fame, et contracto frigore pigræ.
Tum sonus auditur gravior, tractimque susurrant:
Frigidus ut quondam sylvis immurniurat Auster,
Ut mare sollicitum stridet refluentibus undis,

Æstuat ut clausis rapidus fornacibus ignis.
264. Suadebo te incen- Hic jam galbaneos suadebo incendere odores,

Mellaque arundineis inferre canalibus, ultrò
Hortantem, et fessas ad pabula nota vocantem.
Proderit et tunsum gallæ admiscere saporem,
Arentesque rosas, aut igni pinguia multo
Defruta, vel psythiâ passos de vite racemos,
Cecropiumque thymum, et graveolentia centaurea.
Est etiam flos in pratis, cui nomen amello
Fecere agricolæ, facilis quærentibus herba.
Namque uno ingentem tollit de cespite sylvam,




255. Luce: in the sense of vita.

the bees are subject in the spring, occasioned, 256. Ducunt. Pliny observes, that the says Columella, by their feeding greedily bees accompany the bodies of their dead upon spurge after their winter penury. after the manner of a funeral procession. 269. Defruta. Defrutum. was a mixture

257. Ilæ connecæ: clung together by their made of new wine, boiled away one half, feet, they hang, &c.

or one third, into which several sorts of 259. Contracto. Ruæus takes this in the

sweet herbs or spices were put. Pinguia : sense of contrahente.

He says: Frigore rich; implying that it should be boiled contrahente membra. But it may be taken away, and made thick, and enriched by in its usual acceptation, without any impro- spices. Passos racemos : properly, bunches priety: for the bees may be said to contract, of grapes hung up to dry in the sun-raior take cold; and this the poet mentions as sins. Hence by meton. put for the wine one of their diseases.

made of such grapes-raisin wine. See 260. Tractim: in a drawling manner- Geor. ii. 93. one after another.

270. Cecropium : Attic, or Athenian; 262. Sollicitum: in the sense of turbatum. from Cecrops, one of the first kings of Athens.

263. Rapidus: intense—excessive. Æs- Centaurea : plu. the herb centaury. There tuat: roars.

are two kinds of centaury, the greater and 264. Galbaneos : an adj. from galbanum, the less. They have no other similitude a strong-scented gum, the smell of which is than the bitterness of their taste. It is said said to drive away serpents. It is made of to have derived its name from Chiron, one the juice of the plant called ferula.

of the Centaurs, whom it cured of a wound The poet here directs the bee-master, received by an arrow from Hercules. when his bees show these symptoms, to burn galbanum around the hives, which will ex

271. Amello. Mella, or Mela, a river of pel the vermin, if any there are ; to intro- Cis-alpine Gaul, on the banks of which the duce honey into the hives through reeds, to

flower here spoken of abounded. Hence, make up the deficiency of their food, and to according to Servius, it was called Amellus. use every means to allure them to partake Mr. Martyn thinks it the same with the of it.

But in many cases, this would be purple Indian star-wort, or Aster Atticus. insufficient. He must add to this honey Cui nomen amello. This construction frecertain medicinal substances, as remedies of quently occurs in Virgil, and is taken from

the Greeks. It is to be taken in the sense their diseases. 266. Fessas : in the sense of languidas, in the sense of cui lülus nomini : also, cui

of cui amellus nomini : so, cui nomen Yülo, and agrceing with apes, understood. Sapo

nomen asilo. See Geor, iii. 147. rem: juice. 267. Gallo: the nut-gall. This possesses

272. Facilis : easy to be found by those very powerful astringent qualities. It was

who seek for it. very proper, therefore, to recommend the 273. Cespite. Cespes, here must mean use of it, to check the looseness to which the root of the plant. "Sylvam : in the senso


277. Sapor ejus est asper in ore

Aureus ipse : sed in foliis, quæ plurima circùm
Funduntur, violæ sublucet purpura nigræ.
Sæpe Deûm nexis ornatæ torquibus aræ.
Asper in ore sapor: tonsis in vallibus illum
Pastores, et curva legunt prope flumina Mellæ.
Hujus odorato radices incoque Baccho,
Pabulaque in foribus plenis appone canistris.

Sed si quem proles subitò defecerit omnis,
Nec, genus unde novæ stirpis revocetur, habebit :
Tempus, et Arcadii memoranda inventa magistri
Pandere, quoque modo cæsis jam sæpe juvencis

tulerit cruor.

Altiùs omnem
Expediam primâ repetens ab origine, famam.
Nam quà Pellæi gens fortunata Canopi
Accolit effuso stagnantem flumine Nilum,
Et circum pictis vehitur sua rura phaselis;
Quàque pharetratæ vicinia Persidis urget,
Et viridem Ægyptum nigrâ fæcundat arenâ ;
Et diversa ruens septem discurrit in ora,
Usque coloratis amnis devexus ab Indis ;
Omnis in hâc certam regio jacit arte salutem.


280. Apponeque pabula apibus plenis canistris in foribus alvearis.

283. Tempus est pan

dere 285

290 290. Quàque amnis

devexus usque ab coloratis Indis urget


of copiam caulium. Fecêre: in the sense of formed by Xenophon, that the Persian endederunt.

pire under Cyrus extended as far west as 275. Nigræ : deep colored. Funduntur: Egypt. The Nile may therefore be said to sprout, or shoot up.

press upon the borders of Persia, since the 276. Nexis: made, or forined of this Persians extended their dominions as far as amellus.

Egypt; which justifies the expression of the 279. Incoque : boil, or simmer.

poet. Vicinia : plu, of vicinium. The Per281. Sed si quem, &c. The poet now pro- sians were famous for their skill in archery; ceeds to give an account of the method hence pharetratæ Persidis. practised by Aristæus for the recovery of

293. Amnis : the river Nile. It rises in his bees, after all his swarms were lost. Abyssinia, in the mountains of the Moon, Omnis proles : the whole stock, or race.

in about the lat. 11° N. and runs in a north235. Insincerus: in the sense of putridus. Altiùs : in the sense of longè. It is to be erly direction; and, after receiving a numconnected with repetens.

ber of tributary streams, it falls into the

Mediterranean sea in seven different chan236. Expediam: in the sense of narrabo. nels, or mouths, in lat. 32 N. forming the 287. Gens fortunata : the Egyptians. Delta of Lower Egypt. The inundation of They are here called happy, or fortunate, the Nile occasions the fertility of Egypt. on account of the fertility of their country, Its waters bring with them the richness, or which is occasioned by the annual inunda- wash of the upper country, and here deposit tion of the river Nile. Canopi. Canopus it. This the poet calls, nigra arena. was a city of Egypt, near Alexandria, rise of the Nile is occasioned by the rain founded by Alexander the Great, who was born at Peila, in Macedonia. Hence the city the mountains of Abyssinia. The proper

that falls at a certain season of the year in Canopus is called Pellæus. The city, by meton. for the inhabitants; who may be height to which the water should rise in

Egypt is 16 cubits, or 24 feet. If it fall put, by synec, for all the Egyptians.

short of that, a famine is expected ; if it 288. Stagnantem : in the sense of inun

exceed it, an injury is sustained. By means dantem. Agros is understood.

of canals, the water is carried to every part 289. Vehitur circûm. During the continuance of the inundation, the inhabitants tion of the Nile, see Rollin's An. His. Vol. 1.

of the country. For an excellent descrippass from one part of the country to an

Indis. Any country that lay in a hot cliother in boats, or small barges; here called

mate, the ancients denominated India, and phaseli. Vehitur agrees with gens.

its inhabitants Indi. Coloratis : tawny290. Urget vicinia. The Nile did not touch, or border upon the neighborhood of sun-burnt: Derexus : flowing down from Persia, properly so called. But we are in- 294. Arte: in the sense of invento.


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